Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister, Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said all the state governments want compensation from the federal government regarding the matter.
“There are other ways the matter can be dealt with, especially in terms of the forest industry. We also have plans on forest plantations and the forest industry in order to continue using forests as a new economy.
“We are into a huge reforestation programme and I think the state governments should take full advantage of this programme in order to kick up the economy. As far as forests are concerned, there is already a very lucrative business model that can be uses for the future,” he said when met by reporters at the Earth Day celebration at Taman Tugu, here today.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali attended the programme.
Dr Xavier was commenting on the Pahang government’s plan to seek more than RM17 billion compensation from the federal government for the forest and wildlife reserves in the state used as water catchments for the benefit of people outside Pahang.
Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the land involved covered one million hectares and this forced the state government to bear high opportunity cost.